Permit Requirements/Protection Measures

Before you build, alter, re-grade or put fill on your property, you need to check with the Building Department and/or the Planning Department.  Permits are required to ensure that all of the work is properly done and to avoid further problems.  Failure to obtain permits can result in an unsafe building, a fine and possible court action.

While recent improvements in construction practices and regulations have made new homes less prone to flood damage, there are a significant number of existing homes that are susceptible to flood losses.  These losses can be minimized through some of the temporary and permanent retrofitting techniques.  Information on these techniques can be obtained from the Building Department.

Substantial Damage/Improvement (50% Rule)

The following definitions should assist you in determining if you fall under the 50% rule as defined in Ordinance 2005-04:

Substantial Damage means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed fifty (50) percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.  Damage of any origin includes but is not limited to demolition in preparation for improvements, deterioration due to lack of maintenance and repair and exposure to the elements and damage by acts of God.

Substantial Improvement means any repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure either (1) before the improvements or repair is started, or (2) if the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred.  This term includes structures which have incurred “substantial damage”, regardless of the actual work performed.

In cases where the permit applicant questions the assessed depreciated value of a structure, an adjustment may be made. However, the burden of proof is upon the applicant who may submit an independent appraisal by a qualified appraiser in support thereof.